The Future Is Here
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Watch ten years' worth of global weather unfold in just three minutes

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When NASA decommissioned the GOES-12 on August 16th, the weather satellite had been locked in geostationary orbit around Earth for a little over 12 years, snapping regular photos of the western hemisphere. Here now are a decade's worth of captured images, compressed into a three-minute stop motion masterpiece.


From April 2003 — May 2010, GOES-12 served as GOES East, providing "eye in the sky" monitoring for such memorable events as the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season and the series of blizzards during the winter of 2009-2010. After suffering thruster control issues, GOES-12 was taken out of normal service and moved to provide greater coverage of the Southern Hemisphere as the first-ever GOES South. During that time it provided enhanced severe weather monitoring for South America.

This animation shows one image from each day of the satellite's life — a total of 3,641 full disk visible images.

Hurricanes, in particular, stand out. Katrina pops up around 45 seconds in, and Sandy makes an appearance at about 2:49. Pretty slick. We recommend pairing this timelapse with this looping animation of the breathing Earth, and this world map of hurricanes documented since 1851 – both created by datavisualization guru John Nelson.


[NOAA Visualizations via FYFD]